Two weaks in a row! Announcement drop!
Honored samurai, ruthless ronin, wayward vagabonds, shadowy ninja and helpless villagers... welcome.
Last week’s post was abysmal and I apologize. I honestly don’t know what happened and I won’t make excuses. I will however, try and rewrite it into something coherent at some point. There was something great in my head, it just didn’t come out. FORWARD!
This week is special. I present to you, dear readers, something I have been waiting to share since last summer — Futures That Never Were anthology of retro future “sword and planet fiction. Think John Carter (Edgar Rice Burroughs), Flash Gordon (especially the comic strip, the early serials, and the movie – not so much the attempted reboots), and Leigh Brackett (Eric John Stark).”
20 short stories of good ole action and adventure including “Dark Hour” by yours truly — a samuraipunk piece featuring cyber samurai, mutants and a dark, apocalyptic future! Without further ado... the 300 (first page) of 8000+ words! Posted with permission, of course.
DARK HOUR / Made in DNA (2023)
“Intruders! Mutant intruders!”
Den Iwaza, Castle Garrison Commander to Daimyo Lord Satsugawa of the Province of Echijou woke from a light slumber. The call to battle pierced the fog of sleep like a thrust from a katana. In a moment, he was on his feet, eyes alert.
The radio comm set into the samurai's palm crackled with activity. Guard stations within the wall surrounding Outer City were abuzz with enemy numbers, casualty rates and reinforcement requests. Replies from the on-duty commander, Inoishi, his trusted second, were swift and efficient.
Stepping out onto the roofed veranda of his eighty-fifth level apartments, Iwaza looked down upon the Echijou Castle arcology. Countless intricately designed rooftops and gables, their black lacquered aesthetic evident under the shattered gibbous moon, were indiscriminately stacked, stretching down and away to the land below. The lower levels housed the essential farmers, workers, civilian ashigaru footsoldiers and their families. Systems personnel, mer-chants and lower-rank samurai made their homes throughout the intermediate levels while the upper levels were home to the samurai commanders, the daimyo and those who served him in confidential roles.
Twisting the knob at his temple Iwaza zoomed in and drew focus on a point of activity. He pressed the dial in once, twice, thrice, cycling through infrared, x-ray and settling on thermal enhancement imaging. The world illuminated.
Guard Station I-4 was under attack. A group of seven mutants rushed the Outer Wall station. The defenders, two samurai and four ashigaru, cut them down with little trouble. They were engaged soon after by a second group of four. Then another group of five.
Small attack waves. Breach of the energy barrier? Iwaza switched vision enhancements again. Readings were nominal. He tried unsuccessfully to catch the villains working their way in. If they had breached the energy barrier, why were they not flooding in?
Continued in the pages of the Futures That Never Were anthology, in both ebook format and paperback. LOOK AT THAT! 564 pages!
We never meet without parting
Next issue... Review of JUNG_E, the Korean dystopian cyberpunk thriller.
Made in DNA